|Home||<< 1 >>|
Alexander, J. S., Cusack, J. J., Pengju, C, Kun, S., Riordan, P. (2015). Conservation of snow leopards: spill-over benefits for other carnivores? Oryx, (Fauna & Flora International), 1–5.
Abstract: In high-altitude settings of Central Asia the
Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia has been recognized
as a potential umbrella species. As a first step in assessing
the potential benefits of snow leopard conservation for
other carnivores, we sought a better understanding of the
presence of other carnivores in areas occupied by snow leopards
in China’s Qilianshan National Nature Reserve. We
used camera-trap and sign surveys to examine whether
other carnivores were using the same travel routes as snow
leopards at two spatial scales. We also considered temporal
interactions between species. Our results confirm that other
carnivores, including the red fox Vulpes vulpes, grey wolf
Canis lupus, Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx and dhole Cuon alpinus,
occur along snow leopard travel routes, albeit with low detection
rates. Even at the smaller scale of our camera trap survey
all five carnivores (snow leopard, lynx, wolf, red fox and
dhole) were observed. Kernel density estimates suggested a
high degree of temporal overlap between the snow leopard
and the fox, and the snow leopard and the lynx, as indicated
by high overlap coefficient estimates. There is an opportunity
to consider protective measures at the local scale that would
benefit various species simultaneously. However, it should
also be recognized that snow leopard conservation efforts
could exacerbate human–wildlife conflicts through their protective
effect on other carnivore species.
Alexander, J. S., Gopalswamy, A. M., Shi, K., Riordan, P. (2015). Face Value: Towards Robust Estimates of Snow Leopard Densities. Plos One, .
Abstract: When densities of large carnivores fall below certain thresholds, dramatic ecological effects
can follow, leading to oversimplified ecosystems. Understanding the population status of
such species remains a major challenge as they occur in low densities and their ranges are
wide. This paper describes the use of non-invasive data collection techniques combined
with recent spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate the density of snow leopards
Panthera uncia. It also investigates the influence of environmental and human activity indicators
on their spatial distribution. A total of 60 camera traps were systematically set up during
a three-month period over a 480 km2 study area in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve,
Gansu Province, China. We recorded 76 separate snow leopard captures over 2,906 trapdays,
representing an average capture success of 2.62 captures/100 trap-days. We identified
a total number of 20 unique individuals from photographs and estimated snow leopard
density at 3.31 (SE = 1.01) individuals per 100 km2. Results of our simulation exercise indicate
that our estimates from the Spatial Capture Recapture models were not optimal to
respect to bias and precision (RMSEs for density parameters less or equal to 0.87). Our
results underline the critical challenge in achieving sufficient sample sizes of snow leopard
captures and recaptures. Possible performance improvements are discussed, principally by
optimising effective camera capture and photographic data quality.
Alexander, J. S., Shi, K., Tallents, L. A., Riordan, P. (2015). On the high trail: examining determinants of site use by the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in Qilianshan, China. Oryx, (Fauna & Flora International), 1–8.
Abstract: Abstract There is a need for simple and robust techniques for assessment and monitoring of populations of the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia to inform the de- velopment of action plans for snow leopard conservation. We explored the use of occupancy modelling to evaluate the influence of environmental and anthropogenic features on snow leopard site-use patterns. We conducted a camera trap survey across  km in Gansu Province, China, and used data from  camera traps to estimate probabilities of site use and detection using the single season occupancy model. We assessed the influence of three covariates on site use by snow leopards: elevation, the presence of blue sheep Pseudois nayaur and the presence of human disturb- ance (distance to roads). We recorded  captures of snow leopards over , trap-days, representing a mean capture success of . captures per  trap-days. Elevation had the strongest influence on site use, with the probability of site use increasing with altitude, whereas the influence of presence of prey and distance to roads was relatively weak. Our findings indicate the need for practical and robust tech- niques to appraise determinants of site use by snow leo- pards, especially in the context of the limited resources available for such work.
Alexander, J., Chen, P., Damerell, P., Youkui, W., Hughes, J., Shi, K., Riordan, P. (2015). Human wildlife conflict involving large carnivores in Qilianshan, China and the minimal paw-print of snow leopards. Biological Conservation, 187, 1–9.
Abstract: In this paper, we assess local perceptions towards snow leopards in North West China using a framework
depicting key conflict domains. We describe the perceived threats posed to humans by the snow leopard
and set them within beliefs and attitudes towards other species within the large carnivore assemblage in
this region. Surveys were conducted in seven villages within Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu
Province, China, to document reports of snow leopard (Panthera uncia), grey wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian
lynx (Lynx lynx) and brown bear (Ursus arctos) depredation of livestock, and local attitudes towards each
species. Questionnaire-based interviews were held with 60 households and 49 livestock herders. Herding
of yak, sheep and goats was found to be a common livelihood activity among households in all villages.
Herders reported losing livestock to all four carnivore species. Herders reported that depredation was the
most common event affecting livestock, compared with natural disasters or disease, and represented a
total loss of 3.6% of the livestock population during the previous year. Most (53%) depredation losses were
attributed to lynx, while snow leopards were held responsible for only 7.8% of depredation losses. The
reported impact of snow leopards on herding activities was relatively small and the majority of both
householders and herders expressed positive attitudes towards them and supported measures for their
protection. Households and herders held negative attitudes towards lynx, wolves and bears, however,
most likely due to their perceived threat to livestock and humans. Understanding community perceptions
of threats posed by wildlife is vital for gaining community support for, and engagement in, conflict
Braden, K. (2015). Illegal recreational hunting in Russia: the role of social norms and elite violators. Eurasian Geography and Economics, .
Abstract: Poaching in Russia has been reported to be of catastrophic proportions and threatens
maintenance of biodiversity. Management of game species has stabilized some numbers,
but both endangered species listed in the Russian Red Book and animals traditionally
viewed as hunting prey are diminishing in some regions. Rank-and-file
hunters, increasingly shut off from access to hunting grounds, have expressed a negative
reaction to new hunting regulations adopted by the Russian government in 2012.
While high-profile poaching incidents by so-called “VIP hunters” do not apparently
make up a large portion of cases, the symbolism of the alleged crimes has a derogatory
impact on ordinary hunters because lawlessness is reinforced by perceptions of
impunity for elite poachers.
Johansson, O., McCarthy, T., Samelius, G., Andren, H., Tumursukh, L., Mishra, C. (2015). Snow leopard predation in a livestock dominated landscape in Mongolia. Biological Conservation, 184, 251–258.
Abstract: Livestock predation is an important cause of endangerment of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) across
its range. Yet, detailed information on individual and spatio-temporal variation in predation patterns of
snow leopards and their kill rates of livestock and wild ungulates are lacking.
We collared 19 snow leopards in the Tost Mountains, Mongolia, and searched clusters of GPS positions
to identify prey remains and estimate kill rate and prey choice.
Snow leopards killed, on average, one ungulate every 8 days, which included more wild prey (73%) than
livestock (27%), despite livestock abundance being at least one order of magnitude higher. Predation on
herded livestock occurred mainly on stragglers and in rugged areas where animals are out of sight of herders.
The two wild ungulates, ibex (Capra ibex) and argali (Ovis ammon), were killed in proportion to their
relative abundance. Predation patterns changed with spatial (wild ungulates) and seasonal (livestock)
changes in prey abundance. Adult male snow leopards killed larger prey and 2–6 times more livestock
compared to females and young males. Kill rates were considerably higher than previous scat-based estimates, and kill rates of females were higher than kill rates of males. We suggest that (i) snow leopards
prey largely on wild ungulates and kill livestock opportunistically, (ii) retaliatory killing by livestock herders
is likely to cause greater mortality of adult male snow leopards compared to females and young
males, and (iii) total off-take of prey by a snow leopard population is likely to be much higher than previous
Mallon, D., Kulikov, M. (2015). Transboundary Snow Leopard Conservation in Central Asia: Report of the FFI/CMS Workshop, 1-2 December 2014.
Taubmann, J., Sharma, K., Uulu, K Z., Hines, J. E., Mishra, C. (2015). Status assessment of the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia and other large mammals in the Kyrgyz Alay, using community knowledge corrected for imperfect detection. Fauna & Flora International, , 1–11.
Abstract: The Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia occurs
in the Central Asian Mountains, which cover c.  million
km. Little is known about its status in the Kyrgyz Alay
Mountains, a relatively narrow stretch of habitat connecting
the southern and northern global ranges of the species. In
 we gathered information on current and past (,
the last year of the Soviet Union) distributions of snow leopards
and five sympatric large mammals across , km
of the Kyrgyz Alay.We interviewed  key informants from
local communities. Across  -km grid cells we obtained
, and  records of species occurrence (site
use) in  and , respectively. The data were analysed
using themulti-season site occupancy framework to incorporate
uncertainty in detection across interviewees and time
periods. High probability of use by snow leopards in the past
was recorded in .% of the Kyrgyz Alay. Between the two
sampling periods % of sites showed a high probability of
local extinction of snow leopard. We also recorded high
probability of local extinction of brown bear Ursus arctos
(% of sites) and Marco Polo sheep Ovis ammon polii
(% of sites), mainly in regions used intensively by people.
Data indicated a high probability of local colonization by
lynx Lynx lynx in % of the sites. Although wildlife has
declined in areas of central and eastern Alay, regions in
the north-west, and the northern and southern fringes
appear to retain high conservation value.
Tumursukh, L., Suryawanshi, K. R., Mishra, C., McCarthy, T. M., Boldgiv, B. (2015). Status of the mountain ungulate prey of the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in the Tost Local Protected Area, South Gobi, Mongolia. Oryx, , 1–6.
Abstract: The availability of wild prey is a critical predictor of carnivore density. However, few conservation pro- grammes have focused on the estimation and monitoring of wild ungulate populations and their trends, especially in the remote mountains of Central Asia. We conducted double-observer surveys to estimate the populations of ibex Capra sibirica and argali Ovis ammon in the mountain- ous regions of Tost Local Protected Area, South Gobi prov- ince, Mongolia, which is being considered for designation as a Nature Reserve. We also conducted demographic surveys of the more abundant ibex to examine their sex-ratio and the survival of young during –. The estimated ibex population remained stable in  and  and the es- timated argali population increased from  in  to  in . The biomass of wild ungulates was c. % that of live- stock. Mortality in young ibex appeared to increase after weaning, at the age of  months. We estimated the popula- tion of wild ungulates was sufficient to support – adult snow leopards Panthera uncia. The adult snow leopard population in our study area during –, estimated independently using camera-trap-based mark–recapture methods, was –. Based on our results we identify the Tost Local Protected Area as an important habitat for the conservation of these ungulates and their predator, the Endangered snow leopard, and recommend elevation of its status to a Nature Reserve.
Wu, D., Maming, R., Xu, G., Zhu X., Buzzard, P. (2015). Relationship between ibex and snow leopard about food chain and population density in Tian Shan. Selevinia, , 186–190.
Abstract: Many studies have demonstrated that ibex (Capra sibirica) are the most frequently eaten prey of snow
leopards (Panthera uncia) in Xinjiang, the west of China. Thus, an understanding of interactions between these species may have significant management and conservation of implications for both. In this study, we provide information on ibex grouping and density over a 24 month period in the Tian Shan of Xinjiang, China. We then use ibex density to estimate the density of snow leopards. We observed ibex primarily in ewe-lamb groups (N=880), but ibex sexual segregation and grouping changed seasonally with more mixed-sex groups during the winter rut. We observed the most ibex in April 2014 and 2015 with an average of (2422 ± 119 ibex). Over the 1643 km2 study area we then estimated an ibex density of 154 ± 23 ibex /100 km2 from which we estimated a density of 1.31~2.58 snow leopards/100 km2.